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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Ablative bottom paint to VC-17
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Thread: Ablative bottom paint to VC-17 Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-07-2011 09:30 AM
Tweegs I’ve been asked that before, why we put bottom paint on here, and I really don’t have a good answer.

If you look around the marina in the spring, at the bee hive of activity going on, you’ll see the vast majority of sailboat owners out there putting on a fresh coat of bottom paint, while the majority of power boat owners are just waxing their hulls.

Being relatively new to the game, I figured these other sailboat owners knew something I didn’t. Few, if any, will make the trek up the St. Laurence to salt water in a given year. I’d say less than 10% of the sailboats in the marina race, so it’s not like they are all looking for an extra edge. So why do they apply anti-fouling paint?


We do get a good layer of scum built up at the water line, zebra mussels too, if you aren’t careful. Last year at haul out there was a fine layer of algae covering the bottom, I attributed this to improper care by the PO, which is why we made sure to do a good job before launching last spring. Was it enough to hinder performance? Couldn’t tell ya, but I am anxious to see what it looks like when we haul out this year.

I’ll do some research and see if I can find a legitimate reason for applying bottom paint here on the lakes.

Regardless of what we do, that bottom will look good before we go back in next spring. It just won’t do to show the whole world a trashy bottom on that upwind beat.
10-06-2011 06:28 PM
SloopJonB
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweegs View Post
We had the sails cleaned last winter and the sail maker (Doyle) rated the main as in poor condition and the head sail (155 genny) in fair condition.

A 40 knot gust blew out the main for us early in the year and we replaced it with a Pentax sail (Mylar/Kevlar) with the S load tapes custom cut for the boat.

We ran the old genny all year knowing it wasn’t helping us much, but I just put a deposit on a new 135, again custom cut for the boat and of the same material used in the main.

For both sails the sail maker was out to the boat taking measurements, plugging those numbers into the computer, and using a sail makers sage and savvy to come up with a size and cut well suited to the boat. In our case the new head sail will be a #2, with a #2 weight and a #1 cut. We’ll use the old 155 in really light air.


We’ll have good sails for next year, but another problem to be addressed is that 16” fixed 3 blade prop. A 2 blade folding prop will replace it over the winter, a rigid vang is also on tap.

We put on a new traveler and added Genoa lead tracks over the summer, so at this point all of the big performance robbers have been or will be addressed. That leaves the bottom.

The bottom needs work if only from a general maintenance perspective. I figure that as long as we’re doing the work anyway, we may as well slick her up for the race season.


My thinking is that if the boat can sail to its potential, then it is all about the crew sailing it to its potential, and we know we have a lot of work to do there.

I'll snap a few pics at haul out to give a flavor of what I'm up against, though I don't think I'm in as bad a shape as SHNOOL.
I just realized you are in fresh water - why not just do a 400 grit wet sand on the bottom? Why do you need paint?
10-06-2011 10:56 AM
Tweegs
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Tweegs, I don't know you or your boat, but offer this only as gross observation. I've seen many casual race boats with their owners obsessing over the hull, all the while the sheets and sails are nearly blown out, improper for conditions, or misfit. I would want it free of growth, but getting every last bump out is the last thing I would worry about to be sure I was going as fast a I could. Maybe all else is squared away on your vessel.
We had the sails cleaned last winter and the sail maker (Doyle) rated the main as in poor condition and the head sail (155 genny) in fair condition.

A 40 knot gust blew out the main for us early in the year and we replaced it with a Pentax sail (Mylar/Kevlar) with the S load tapes custom cut for the boat.

We ran the old genny all year knowing it wasn’t helping us much, but I just put a deposit on a new 135, again custom cut for the boat and of the same material used in the main.

For both sails the sail maker was out to the boat taking measurements, plugging those numbers into the computer, and using a sail makers sage and savvy to come up with a size and cut well suited to the boat. In our case the new head sail will be a #2, with a #2 weight and a #1 cut. We’ll use the old 155 in really light air.


We’ll have good sails for next year, but another problem to be addressed is that 16” fixed 3 blade prop. A 2 blade folding prop will replace it over the winter, a rigid vang is also on tap.

We put on a new traveler and added Genoa lead tracks over the summer, so at this point all of the big performance robbers have been or will be addressed. That leaves the bottom.

The bottom needs work if only from a general maintenance perspective. I figure that as long as we’re doing the work anyway, we may as well slick her up for the race season.


My thinking is that if the boat can sail to its potential, then it is all about the crew sailing it to its potential, and we know we have a lot of work to do there.

I'll snap a few pics at haul out to give a flavor of what I'm up against, though I don't think I'm in as bad a shape as SHNOOL.
10-05-2011 08:49 PM
SHNOOL Lemme help... If your bottom looks like mine (yes that is me putting VC17 over ablative)... it held up for 2 months in the water (fresh water).. But the bottom is so rough it is tough to no start over. By the way, what you see in the picture is the result after 80 grit sandpaper sanding to try to "smooth it out" a bit.
10-05-2011 07:03 PM
Minnewaska Tweegs, I don't know you or your boat, but offer this only as gross observation. I've seen many casual race boats with their owners obsessing over the hull, all the while the sheets and sails are nearly blown out, improper for conditions, or misfit. I would want it free of growth, but getting every last bump out is the last thing I would worry about to be sure I was going as fast a I could. Maybe all else is squared away on your vessel.
10-05-2011 12:56 PM
SloopJonB
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweegs View Post
I’m just not happy unless it takes 3 times longer, is twice as difficult, and the aggravation level is 10 times higher to achieve the same result.
We must have been separated at birth.
10-05-2011 10:04 AM
Tweegs
Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
Why not just sand the ablative very nicely with long boards and fine paper - down to 400 wet. That will give you a very smooth bottom for next season. Next spring, launch it and let the paint continue to ablate, like it is designed to. The more it ablates, the less work you will have to do to prep for VC17.
I will certainly take that into consideration based on what she looks like at haul out, but that would be the easy way out. I’m just not happy unless it takes 3 times longer, is twice as difficult, and the aggravation level is 10 times higher to achieve the same result.

Honestly though, because we are racing the boat, I’d like to get the bottom as drag free as possible. We found several large areas where the paint had flaked off when we hauled out last year and it’s probably time to strip it down and start over. I'd really like to see what is going on beneath that old paint anyway, just to make sure everything is OK.
10-04-2011 08:37 PM
SloopJonB Why not just sand the ablative very nicely with long boards and fine paper - down to 400 wet. That will give you a very smooth bottom for next season. Next spring, launch it and let the paint continue to ablate, like it is designed to. The more it ablates, the less work you will have to do to prep for VC17.
10-04-2011 08:00 PM
Minnewaska
Quote:
Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
Anyone go the other direction...vc-17 to Ablative? I need to strip the vc-17 off because we are going to saltwater. Unfortunately, I cannot find any threads with anyone stripping the stuff off. The boat is still in the water and haven't yet tried to see how hard this stuff will be to sand off.
Yes, I have. It is very easy to sand off, particularly with a season's wear. However, you must get it all off. Nothing will stick to it. Pettit used to say some of their paints were compatible, but they seem to have retracted that position.

I have been told that it will actually wipe off with some solvent. Can't recall which. However, I'm trying to imagine having solvent running down my arms all day.

Edit disclosure: I didn't do all the sanding, but was there for the test when we were deciding which way to go. Orbital sander took it off with no effort at all.
10-04-2011 07:19 PM
funjohnson Anyone go the other direction...vc-17 to Ablative? I need to strip the vc-17 off because we are going to saltwater. Unfortunately, I cannot find any threads with anyone stripping the stuff off. The boat is still in the water and haven't yet tried to see how hard this stuff will be to sand off.
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